Stories by Paul Heltzel

Trip Planning Made Easy with Map'n'Go 6

Sure, you can find long-distance driving directions online. But what about pinpointing points of interest or tourist traps along the way? DeLorme's newest update of its AAA Map'n'Go software makes easy work of finding thousands of hotels and restaurants--along with the requisite point-to-point driving directions, destination information, and basic mapping at street level for 240 urban centers.

Vibrating Mouse Could Shake Up Your Surfing

Vibrating input devices are a familiar concept to gamers, but perhaps less so for the rest of the database-querying, word-processing public. Well, no longer: Meet the AVB Technologies' VMouse, which reacts to any sound your PC makes.

In Search of a Few Good Geeks

There's a server farm blackout in Sioux City. Four people can't boot up in Massapequa. In a San Jose elementary school, a monitor needs degaussing. These sound like jobs for TechieTeam 2000.

Napster, Meet Spinal Tap

In the computer industry, as in show business, success breeds imitation. So it's no surprise that following the remarkable popularity of Napster, there comes Tapster--the new music service and brainchild of heavy metal rockers Spinal Tap.

Yahoo Plays DJ

Maybe I'm too picky, but I still can't find a multimedia player that I'm totally comfortable with. So when I heard about the new Yahoo Player, a program for listening to streaming music and watching videos, I was eager to test it out. After all, Yahoo Inc. has a reputation for avoiding unnecessary frills in its products, and I'm a fan of its Messenger software.

What's on Excite Tonight?

There's no shortage of video on the Web, but finding video that you want can be a hassle. Excite@home Inc. wants to help, with its new subscribers-only service, Excite ClickVideo.

Mix Your Own Music, Man

When I was a kid, I took piano lessons from Mrs. Kirkpatrick, a notoriously stern woman who made my 12-year-old life a living, "Chopsticks"-filled hell. Since I never had the patience for lessons or for Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Beatnik Inc.'s Mixman Studio download appealed to me immediately.

Tripod Site Builder Keeps It Simple

Not everyone feels the need to put their life story on the Web. But eventually, you'll probably want to create your own Web page, whether to share wedding pictures, or to let people know about your upcoming yard sale. The new Tripod Site Builder from Lycos Inc., a browser-based HTML editor, is an easy tool to help you get started.

Search for Life Signs at WebBrain

Does the world really need one more search engine? A smarter one, perhaps, where might you find more intelligent search assistance than at the Web's brain?

Control the Camera on Web Movie

The Internet has a new arrival. A four-minute short film called The New Arrival is premiering this week at the Cannes Film Festival, and is also being shown for free online at

Audio Manager Organizes Your Tunes

If you download music files from the Internet, you know finding tunes is no problem. But what about when you finish downloading? The recently released RioPort Inc. Audio Manager 3 offers a way to organize your music and even move them to a CD.

A List of Your Own

The Internet promises to make everyone a publishing magnate, so in order to boost my own Web empire (read: home page), I started my very own private discussion channel (read: mail list) using the recently updated EGroups.